Tag Archives: Duran Duran

The Gimpy Groupie

by Hope Madden

My husband George has lived through several Duran Duran concerts during our marriage—one in 2005 at Vets Memorial, the other a few years later at the Schott. In both cases, he made a valiant attempt to get me backstage to meet the objects of my absolutely rabid adolescent ardor.

George, who works in radio, culled favors from everywhere he could think of: other radio people, record reps, anyone. No dice. I know why he was unsuccessful. Every living female between the ages of 40 and 55 loves Duran Duran.

Seriously, it’s a documented fact.

Still, it was a failure that haunted him until he made good on his wish one weekend in Chicago at the House of Blues.

Having a gimp for a wife didn’t hurt.

Saddled with a walking boot from the foot surgery I’d had three weeks earlier, I approached the concert hall with crutches and a pin protruding from one toe.

It’s a great look.

The folks at the Houe of Blues couldn’t have been nicer, especially when their elevator broke down and I had to take three flights of steps to get to the standing room only concert. That was a lot of fun.

To make up for it, a security guard escorted George and me to a bar at the back of the room where a private party was happening.

Nearby, we saw a line of people making their way up a back staircase. George knows how to sniff out a meet-and-greet, so he began to investigate. He felt sure that, atop those stairs, we’d find Duran Duran.

But how to get there?

I was hardly in any condition to be stealthy or to outrun security.

George politely questioned several people as they made their way down the stairs. Some shunned him, but he persevered and determined that, yes, the line led to a backstage meeting. And I gleaned from conversations around me that some folks at the private party had paid $500 apiece for the honor of meeting the band.

It may sound excessive to you, but not to me. Or at least the part of me that still remembers being 13 years old and willing to sell a kidney—perhaps even my own—to meet Duran Duran.

Finally, George approached a woman who will forever be known as My New Best Friend. She saw my pitiful condition and lent George her pass to see the band.


I hobbled up the stairs. No one stopped me. Indeed, people felt merciful over my trudging around crippled and offered me a chair.

I could see Roger Taylor from where I sat in the hallway, injured foot tucked safely behind crutches.

For those of you outside the precious D2 demographic, Roger is the drummer and second cutest bandmate.

His spiky brunette locks and playful pout adorned my closet door.

It hung just below my most beloved John Taylor (bass player, born Nigel John Taylor, 6/20/60 to Jean and Jack Taylor in the Birmingham, England suburb of Hollywood).

I was the band’s last photo op, and I overheard their dismay when they learned the news, “Just one more.”

“One more,” Roger near-groaned as he walked toward the door. Then he eyeballed the gimp in the hall and realized the special circumstances of which I was so gleefully taking advantage.

“Oh, hon, what happened to you?” he asked me.

Mr. Roger Taylor just spoke to me. My brain began forming words. The 14-year-old Hope thought: My poster is talking right now. The fully grown adult brain began pulling together a response. My brain said, “I just had foot surgery.”

My mouth, on the other hand, let out a string of sounds bearing no relation whatsoever to the English language.

He winced in knowing embarrassment for me.

I assume I’m not the first female wearing a Duran Duran tee shirt who’s been unable to respond properly to a polite query from Roger Taylor.

Simon (singer) put his arm around me.

Nick (keyboardist with heavy lipstick) hoped I’d heal soon.

John steered clear, smiling from a safe distance.

Still: Best Day Ever.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to put my arm in a sling and research some Cory Hart concert dates.

Never surrender!

Boys On Film

Duran Duran: Unstaged

by Hope Madden

What has director David Lynch been up to, you ask? That bastion of all things weird and wonderful nabbed his 4th Oscar nomination for 2001’s dreamy Mulholland Drive, then kind of disappeared.

Well, weep not for David Lynch, for he is living the dream – my dream, anyway. He’s been hanging out with Duran Duran, piecing together a documentary of the best looking boy band ever. Their collaboration, Duran Duran: Unstaged, is a concert doc like no other.

Lynch filmed the band’s live show at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles, a gig that kicked off their world tour in support of the 2010 album All You Need is Now. Now years removed from the arena tours of the Eighties, the band put together an intimate, strong stage set for this club tour. Lynch later retooled the footage for the theatrical release.

The gig itself – quite unlike the tour that followed – relies heavily on songs from the current album at the expense of many of the band’s sing-a-long Eighties tunes. But frontman Simon LeBon is in excellent voice, and luckily, All You Need is Now is quite a strong effort. While the group does launch into the biggest fan favorites – Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film – they also fall back on some album cut gems that should thrill longtime Durannies. They also pull out their more underappreciated later hits Come Undone and Ordinary World to beautiful effect.

The event boasts a handful of cool guest appearances, including My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way on a fun version of Planet Earth, and Gossip’s Beth Ditto, with a lively duet for Notorious. These join four of the band’s original five: LeBon, Nick Rhodes on keyboards, Roger Taylor on drums, and John Taylor on bass.

But the 5th member of the band is clearly Lynch.

Directing a concert documentary can be a thankless, mostly anonymous task. Did you really notice Hal Ashby’s presence during the Stones’ doc Let’s Spend the Night Together? Did even the great Scorsese leave his fingerprints on the same band’s 2008 doc Shine the Light?

Well, you notice Lynch. The auteur overlays tangentially connected images on concert footage in a fashion truly his own. The images range from the absolutely literal to the wildly random, either way lending an air of absurdity to the otherwise straightforward set.

In a press release, Simon LeBon says, “I was particularly delighted with the sausage barbeque sequence during the song Come Undone – something I would never have expected but it works superbly!”

A dreamlike dissonance marks Lynch’s entire film career (with the possible exception of his utterly lovely ’99 effort The Straight Story), and that’s certainly at work here. Sometimes it seems to gel, other times it stands out as almost needlessly bizarre and silly, but who’s to question the inspiration of David Lynch?

It’s certainly a different way to appreciate Duran Duran.